CARB releases proposed emissions standards

Last week, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) posted the proposed Advanced Clean Car package of regulations for the 2017-2025 model years.

 

Last week, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) posted the proposed Advanced Clean Car package of regulations for the 2017-2025 model years. The Board will meet to decide whether to implement the new rules in January.

The proposal would require 15 percent of new cars sold in California in 2025 to be zero-emission or plug-in hybrid vehicles. According to the agency’s projections, the result will be a reduction in auto operating costs of 25 percent, and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from cars of 34 percent from 2016 levels.

The ARB’s analysis estimates that fuel-saving technologies will add about $1,900 to the price of a new car in 2025, and save $6,000 in fuel costs over the life of the car. It projects the creation of an additional 21,000 jobs in California in 2025.

“These rules will make California the advanced car capital of the world, driving the innovation, patents and technology that will generate thousands of jobs here, and set the stage for us to compete in the global clean car marketplace,” said ARB Executive Officer James N. Goldstene.

While the ARB is justifiably proud of California’s already secure position as the world’s EV capital, the current proposal is no more than a tentative step in the right direction, and we aren’t pouring the carbon-free Champagne just yet. The proposed standards are modest compared to those already implemented by several European countries (to say nothing of Costa Rica, which aims to be carbon-neutral by 2021). If approved, California’s new rules won’t take effect until the 2017 model year. The long lead time is the result of a deal made with industry lobbyists in 2009, and it leaves plenty of time for oil interests to continue watering down the wine.

A summary of the Advanced Clean Cars regulations is at: http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/clean_cars/acc%20summary-final.pdf.

 

Image: California Environmental Protection Agency